A band of street drummers banging away in central London were cowed into silence when Helen Mirren stormed out of a nearby theater — dressed as Queen Elizabeth, no less — and ordered them to shut up because they were ruining her performance.

Mirren in her first time playing QEII, in the 2006 movie “The Queen.” (Laurie Sparham / Miramax Films)

Currently starring as the reigning monarch in “The Audience” — a role for which she won the Olivier Award last week — Dame Helen told the Telegraph the drumming from a street festival was so loud she and her fellow actors could hear them from the stage. During intermission, she marched out onto the street with co-star Rufus Wright, who plays Prime Minister David Cameron, and delivered a less-than-polite warning.

“I’m afraid there were a few ‘thespian’ words used,” she told the paper later. “They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately.”

There is a distant grainy video of the encounter that may be less gratifying than the image in your head, but it does give you a sense of how annoying the drummers must have been.

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